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Five films that tell the human stories behind the Israel-Palestine conflict

1) Gaza: Surviving Shujayea

On the 13th day of Israel’s assault on Gaza in July 2014, it declared the neighbourhood of Shujayea a closed military zone. That neighbourhood was home to eight-year-old Bisan Daher and her family. Israeli attacks on the area forced thousands of residents to flee and killed at least 72.

As Israeli planes flew overhead, a Palestinian ambulance team heard someone crying for help from deep beneath the remains of a home. It was Bisan. Six members of her family had been killed in the bombing.

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This film tells the story of her survival against the odds and of the close bond that formed between the young girl and her rescuers.

2) Farah: Scarred by Gaza’s War

When Israeli forces attacked her home in Gaza, killing her mother, grandfather, aunt and three uncles, three-year-old Farah was left with third-degree burns.

This film follows her journey as she travels to the US for treatment, undergoing medical care surrounded by unfamiliar faces, and tells the story of the Arab American families who take her in during her nine-month ordeal.

3) Skies Above Hebron: Growing up Palestinian in the occupied West Bank

Three Palestinian boys grow up in the divided heart of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Over five years, this film follows the challenges and hopes of the boys, Amer, Anas and Marwaan, as they face threats to arrest them and Israeli settlers eager to move into their homes.

4) Defying My Disability

In this film, we meet seven Palestinians aged between seven and 28 with different disabilities. Most were born with them; one was injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

In the face of conflict, occupation, tragedy and disability – in places ill-equipped to handle special needs – we see how they have learned to navigate complex challenges with optimism and strength.

5) Between Fire & Sea: The Man Behind Gaza’s Great March of Return

“What would happen if thousands of Gazans, most of them refugees, attempted to peacefully cross the fence that separated them from their ancestral lands?” was a question posed by Ahmed Abu Artema, a Palestinian poet and non-violence resistance activist, on Facebook.

His post went viral and became the rallying cry that inspired a movement of peaceful protests known as the Great March of Return. Many of the marches took on a carnival-like atmosphere, with people of all ages and even traditional dabke dancers in attendance. But they were met with violence.

This film follows Ahmed as he visits some of the injured and relatives of those killed and tries to reconcile the human toll with his belief in the power of non-violence.

Source: Al Jazeera

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